Readers and reviewers approaching any book encounter its cover image and title. This cover depicts a bleak landscape sans humans: an expressionistic mountain ridge where rocks protrude through melting snow beneath a massive mostly reddish sky. Should we anticipate an apocalyptic saga of ice and fire? A discourse on the cultural implications of climate change? A visual metaphor for perpetually fraught institutional landscapes? The dawn of a new age?

How does the two-word title resonate with its backdrop? Does “Advancing” augur peril akin to accelerated dementia, syphilis, cancer, plagues, and environmental disasters? Might it instead herald a social imaginary confronting present danger, fervently paralleling the evangelical militancy and social democratic resolve, respectively investing such pithy marching song monikers as “Onward, Christian Soldiers” and “Avanti Popolo”? Is “Folkloristics” advanced over “Folklore,” “Folklore and Folklife,” or “Folklore Studies” as our field's name?

After reading and pondering this ambitious publication, my answer to...

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